This is a "message" in favour of free trade that are intended to address the European Union and Japan to Donald Trump. The negotiations on the JEFTA (Japan-EU free trade agreement) had been launched as early as march 2013 in a quasi-indifference, contrary to the agreements negotiated by the EU with Canada (CETA) or the United States (TTIP/TAFTA).
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With the entry into force Friday of this treaty, the Europeans and Japanese formalize their agreement on the most important topics. And the accord weighs heavy: the EU is the third trading partner of Japan, while Japan comes in the sixth position for the Old Continent. The treaty makes the bottom 99 % of the tariff barriers of the japanese, which represent a total of approximately 1 billion euros per year. European exports (approximately 86 billion per year) are expected to increase substantially - the european Commission has put forward the figure of 20 billion euros more.The content of the trade agreement
The agri-food sector was one of the priorities of Europeans, eager to find markets for their farmers on a japanese market in full expansion. In total, 85% of the EU agri-food products, such as wine or processed pork, may enter Japan without duty, but sometimes at the end of transition periods. Others, such as the beef will be subject to the taxes imposed gradually reduced. Rice is excluded from the agreement. The Japanese commit their side to recognize 200 protected geographical indications such as Roquefort, the Tiroler Speck of austria, the Ham of the belgian Ardennes, or the Polska Wódka, who will receive "the same level of protection as in Europe." The negotiations were particularly complex on dairy products, a sector sensitive to Tokyo, in particular, to lower the taxes to very high imposed on the european cheeses. The agreement will eliminate customs duties on several cheese, but the transition period can reach 15 years.
The automotive sector is also at the heart of the agreement. The Japanese will have full access to the european market, after a transition period of seven years. The auto parts are also concerned with the abolition of customs duties, but in an immediate way on this type of product. The customs tariffs of the european Union on automobiles were prior to this agreement of 10 % and those on the automotive parts 3 %.
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beyond tariffs, the agreement also contains an important non-tariff, that is to say, alignments regulations to facilitate trade between the two blocks. This includes the opening of several public markets of japan, the adoption by the Tokyo international standards already met by the EU (automotive, textile, and medicine) and co-operation to avoid conflict in the future.
in addition, this agreement will include a chapter on sustainable development, aimed at facilitating the dialogue between Tokyo and Brussels, including on environmental issues. But no reference will be made to the controversial whale hunt or the illegal exploitation of forests, in contrast to this, as advocated by some NGOS such as Greenpeace.Updated Date: 02 February 2019, 00:00